Category Archives: Team Development
If many leaders took the time to be self-aware and accountable, they would discover so much about how they hamper their credibility and effectiveness in their role.
In today’s world of shifting blame, wanting immediate (though unrealistic) results, and rushing from task to task without deep thought, many leader’s today run into traps that an honest self-assessment and shoring up can avoid. Here are some ways that leaders, and perhaps yourself, may be destroying our credibility as an effective and respected leader:
- Blaming others for a ball dropped on our end
- Not listening to instructions, expectations, feedback, or requests
- Pushing through to get results, or other subtle or overt ways of bullying
- Making hyperbolic claims to generate an emotional response and get a desired outcome
- Having an unrealistic time frame or expectation
- Being frustrated at other’s inefficiency or incompetence when they were not properly trained
- Not communication expectations and being frustrated when they are not met
- Being late, short in tone, or barely engaged in any personal interaction
- Calling others to account for failed performance without having all the facts
For any leader to have any success, they must be able to understand their thoughts and communicate them to everyone in their sphere. They must also come to grips with realism, both within themselves and with others, to ensure they know processes and improvement measures. Great leaders speak plainly, with facts, and take the heat for any missteps on their end. Overall, the best leaders are astute at gathering information, communicating if to everyone involved, and processing the feedback to improve performance, expectations, and processes with maximum engagement and minimal disconnect and confusion.
Determine to build these skills within yourself and watch the impact and turnaround your organization will reap from having a credible and capable leader who can properly process what goes on around them.
Do “Suck Up”s persist in your organization?
You know, those people that would rather endear themselves to leadership by behaviors other than doing their job to the best of their ability in the greater interest of the team. They flatter the boss, promote themselves to upper management, pretend to have the best ideas, and
There are many subtle ways a “suck up” can creep into and overtake your organization.
How do you prevent, or even change, a “suck up” culture? Try the following strategies below:
- Treat all people fairly. If you’re consistent through your leadership in how you treat people, your folks will see that they won’t get extra attention by hanging all over you or creating drama to gain it. People that would tend to suck up want extra favors, attention, and any benefit in their jobs that they can garner. Giving your team equal attention and fair treatment is a great start to ensuring “suck-ups” find a dead-end.
- Give everyone the same access to resources for their job. Sometimes it’s easy for leaders to give extra resources to the people they like the most. Employees can sense this and make it into a way to leverage their working relationship for extra favors and inside information.
- Prevent “squeaky wheel gets the grease” syndrome. Employees resent those teammates that always hang around the boss or complain loudly to get extra attention and favors. The most vocal person tends to get the most attention, even if their requests aren’t urgent or important. Prioritize and qualify each person’s request on equal merits to ensure no one whines their way to your ear.
- Don’t let your ego or the ego of your leadership get stroked. “Suck-ups” know who to praise their boss and stroke his or her ego. It’s natural in those circumstances to give favor to those who make your ego feel good. Practice the example of humility by setting ego aside and don’t let other’s try to leverage your emotions and pride for their benefit.
- Promote a team culture. Having a strong team culture ensures everyone works together for mutual benefit and not personal gains per se. a strong team environment helps mitigate the opportunity for “suck-ups” to take root and makes sure that your people – and leadership – are committed to a greater cause and focus. Work at instilling a team-oriented culture that will weed out those that would manipulate their bosses.
“Suck-ups” are just leeches with two legs. Their contribution to the organization is nothing more than self-serving and very rarely contributory to the team as a whole. Purposefully cultivate an environment that does not give “suck-ups” a toehold and guard your leadership to be firm in a team approach.
I was originally going to title this post “Guidelines to Build a WINNING Team”, but in order to have a winning team, one must build a WORKING team first.
Why? Because winning teams can only win when they first work well together.
What is a working team?
It’s a group of individuals banded together for a common purpose, using each person’s collective talents to accomplish the vision.
It’s not enough to bring aboard the best skill level. Many music groups have imploded because their talent wasn’t enough to keep them together. That best young engineer candidate with an already impressive resume may be the most toxic person you bring onto your team. Chik-Fil-A has succeeded in hiring for behavior and character knowing that that fit will allow the necessary skills to be built upon.
Having a great staff alone won’t make a team work. Many companies had great employees but the leadership had their own agenda or poorly ran the organization into the ground. Wang Laboratories is an example of great talent but poor leadership that rendered them obsolete.
Bringing together a great leader and talented people doesn’t necessary make a team work either. Having a common vision, culture, and goals that everyone can buy into and rally around is a necessary component of giving a team purpose for their work. Mark Cuban and Henry Ford are two great examples of leaders who had great talent but failed a few times before they found a great vision for their eventual successful ventures.
Having a goal and defined vision alone won’t make a working team. If all the above ingredients are present, but the organization does not have a working business model, blueprint, or game plan, then the best efforts are no more than parts of a plane that aren’t pieced together in the proper fashion to attain thrust and lift. Over 60% of the people who own open a restaurant for the first time fail within 3 years, mostly due to not having a proper business model. They hire great chefs and talented servers only to miss their market and get in over their heads financially.
Working teams are teams that know how to get the right talent, proper leadership, clear vision, and successful plan together in a way that will accomplish the goals ahead of them.
Focus on building a working team. Once in place, then it will find it’s way to be a winning team.